Black Sabbath

Self-styled harbingers of demonic hard rock, Black Sabbath originated from the amalgamation of two Birmingham bands, Rare Breed (featuring Osbourne and Butler) and Mythology (Ward and Iommi). Dabbling with occult references, they caught the heavy metal wave through the 1970s and, driven by frontman Osbourne's "prince of darkness" persona, they epitomised rock'n'roll excess. The albums Paranoid (1970) and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) came to be regarded as classics of the genre, inspiring an ardent fan base with a template copied by many heavy metal bands. The heavy-drinking Osbourne was sacked in 1979 and replaced by Ronnie James Dio. Black Sabbath subsequently went through a long series of personnel changes. Osbourne, who'd launched his solo project Blizzard Of Ozz, was welcomed back into the fold with the original line-up in 1997 on a tour that resulted in the live album Reunion (1998). During the 2000s, the band teamed up once again with ex-frontman Ronnie James Dio for a world tour under the moniker Heaven & Hell, a name inspired by their 1980 classic album. Following Dio’s death in 2010, Black Sabbath buried the hatchet with Osbourne and went into the studio to resume the production of their nineteenth studio album. With legendary producer Rick Rubin behind the console and Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk on the drums, the band recorded and released 13 (2013), which debuted at Number 1 on the UK Albums Chart and topped Billboard’s 200 chart after selling 155,000 copies in a week. In 2014, the album’s lead single, “God Is Dead?,” earned the group a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, their first in 14 years. Only a year later, Black Sabbath embarked on a global tour entitled The End, which culminated in a massive concert in their hometown of Birmingham. Shortly after, the group announced its dissolution once again in 2017.

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